I have myself felt suicidal – felt trapped and hopeless and without a shred of a future.
At that time, I was stuck in a decaying marriage, working two shitty dead-end jobs, trapped by poverty with my physically and emotionally violent then-wife in a building we called Domestic Abuse Central because getting drunk and beating the shit out of their wives, husbands, kids, partners and each other is all our neighbors ever seemed to do. I had been forced to abandon my dream of being an actor, had been kicked out of a band I’d help form, and we were constantly overdrawing our bank account. My friends were moving away, my body was falling apart from stress and violence, my student loans were piling up and I lacked the funds to pay them, and my paycheck was spent soon after I deposited it… sometimes – thanks to overdraft fees – before I even got it. I felt so hopeless and frustrated and full of rage that I was in brawls several times a month, and one night I almost decked my wife and became everything I despised. After my then-boss “convinced” a doctor to make all evidence of a workplace injury – one that pains me to this day – “disappear” so my employer could dodge a lawsuit and refuse to pay me for the time that doctor told me to take off from work, I found myself seriously stepping into traffic hoping someone would hit me and end my misery.
That was 25 years ago.
And if I HAD given in, if I had been hit by a car, if I had gotten what I thought I wanted back then, you would never have heard of me, and none of the hundreds of books, stories, essays, articles, blogs and games I have published since those days – and more importantly, all the lives that have been influenced, changed, and I’m told even saved by that work – would never have existed as they do.
I understand despair. I have felt it many times in my life. Sometimes I still do. I tell ya, man, after I left White Wolf in 1999 and wound up unable to write for over a year, wearing a fucking polyester apron at a fucking $6.25-an-hour job at MediaPlay, and wondering if I had just HAD my moment and it was gonna be all downhill from there, I felt like that again.
THAT was 16 years ago.
My friend, your choice is yours to make. No one else can make it for you.
But if you make a choice that can never be undone, you’ll never know what MIGHT have been if you had chosen differently.
And neither will the rest of the world – a world you might have changed if you had chosen differently.
Ultimately, you’re the only one who can decide.
Me, I vote for you choosing to live.
I’m sure as hell glad I did.
PS: Thank you for speaking up and reaching out. I’m glad you spoke up about your pain in public now, rather than let the rest of the world know about it when it was too late to help you.
Like I said, I hope you choose the path with a future.
(This post was a comment I had left for a friend who had announced that he is contemplating suicide. I thought maybe it might help other people too, so if you want, please feel free to share and/ or link this post.)